In a match that followed a remarkably similar pattern to their defeat of Tonga in their opener last Tuesday, Danny Brough and his team were not quite able to claim the victory this time, but snatching a draw with Italy keeps them firmly in contention.
For Scots of a superstitious disposition there is a worrying element in what is to come, since the equivalent of our football team's World Cup departures on goal difference now enters the equation.
If they win their final match against the USA and Italy lose to Tonga then the Scots will go through as the only unbeaten side in Pool C, a remarkable feat given the way the schedule and the fixture list has conspired against them.
If they beat the USA and the Italians beat Tonga it will then come down to points difference. Italy currently boast a 14-point lead but there is a chance that the Americans will have already qualified by the time they meet Scotland on Thursday, which could conceivably result in them resting some key players ahead of their quarter-final.
While Carlo Napolitano, Italy's coach, complained afterwards about decisions - both those made by officials in setting up the unusual World Cup structure and on the field last night - it is the Scots who have had most to complain about.
This was the second of Italy's matches, eight days after the first and they now have another week in which to recover before playing their final match against Tonga.
By contrast the Scots had only five days in which to recover from their opener and now have just four more before they take on a USA team who have beaten the Cook Islands and Wales in their first two matches.
If they got the rub of the green when it was decided that Matty Russell scored the first try, rather than being stopped just short as Napolitano believed, surely no neutral would complain that they were not due it.
Not that there were many neutrals in Workington last night. The vast majority of the 7280 spectators who again filled Derwent Park close to capacity backed the Scots who have been based in their town for the last fortnight.
Russell's score had followed a Brough penalty and the captain converted that try and another soon after when Kane Linnett chased a kick from the half-back and grabbed the ball to score as it rebounded off Joshua Matellato.
Their 14-0 lead was reduced to a two point advantage by the break thanks to tries from Cameron Ciraldo and Raymond Nasso, both converted by Mantellato.
Back came the Scots once more with a superb try immediately after the break as Ben Hellewell rose to catch a Brough up and under, sent up on the last tackle, then fed Danny Addy whose slick one-two with winger Brett Carter resulted in the second-row man taking the return pass with a clear route to the line.
Brough's conversion reinstated a two score lead for all of four minutes before Nasso spun out of a tackle at a play just short of the Scottish line and dived over to let Mantellato bring the margin back to two points.
Brough then showed his sleight of hand to stall the Italian defence and spark his side's fourth try, feeding play-making partner Peter Wallace whose miss pass gave Carter some room to work with on his right wing before the winger again produced a perfectly weighted inside pass to send Hellewell in.
A try from Chris Centrone brought the Italians back again, Mantellato converting brilliantly from the left touchline, and he then did so for a fifth time after the ball ricocheted into Anthony Minichiello's path to let the Australian internationalist dive gratefully on to in the in-goal area and put his side ahead for the first time.
Since there had been some luck involved in Ciraldo's opening score, while the Italians also repeatedly got away with taking huge handling risks out of contact, the Scots could have felt sorry for themselves as the match moved into the final quarter.
That, however, is not Brough's way and he produced one more touch of magic to bring them back into it with a surprise chip behind their defensive line which he recovered himself to earn his side field position.
He played the ball quickly and, as they were re-organising, the ever alert Russell fired the ball right where Ian Henderson, Luke Douglas, Oliver Wilkes and Brett Phillips all showed deft touches to help send Hellewell in for his second score.
It is perhaps apt that in getting themselves to the brink of the quarter-finals Scotland have played in two thrilling matches and have yet to pick up a man of the match award, Nasso taking the honour last night. Their performances so far have been the very definition of team spirit.